1These also are proverbs of Shlomo; the men of Hizkiyah king of Y’hudah copied them out:
2God gets glory from concealing things;
kings get glory from investigating things.
3Like the sky for height or the earth for depth
is the heart of kings — unfathomable.
4Remove the impurities from the silver,
and the smith has material to make a vessel.
5Remove the wicked from the king’s presence,
and his throne will rest firmly on righteousness.
6Don’t put yourself forward in the king’s presence;
don’t take a place among the great.
7For it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
than be degraded in the presence of a nobleman.
What your eyes have seen,
8don’t rush to present in a dispute.
For what will you do later on,
if your neighbor puts you to shame?
9Discuss your dispute with your neighbor,
but don’t reveal another person’s secrets.
10If you do, and he hears of it, he will disgrace you,
and your bad reputation will stick.
11Like apples of gold in settings of silver
is a word appropriately spoken.
12Like a gold earring, like a fine gold necklace
is a wise reprover to a receptive ear.
13Like the coldness of snow in the heat of the harvest
is a faithful messenger to the one who sends him;
he refreshes his master’s spirit.
14Like clouds and wind that bring no rain
is he who boasts of gifts he never gives.
15With patience a ruler may be won over,
and a gentle tongue can break bones.
16If you find honey, eat only what you need;
for if you eat too much of it, you may throw it up;
17so don’t visit your neighbor too much,
or he may get his fill of you and come to hate you.
18Like a club, a sword or a sharp arrow
is a person who gives false testimony against a neighbor.
19Relying on an untrustworthy person in a time of trouble
is like [relying on] a broken tooth or an unsteady leg.
20Like removing clothes on a chilly day or like vinegar on soda
is someone who sings songs to a heavy heart.
21If someone who hates you is hungry, give him food to eat;
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22For you will heap fiery coals [of shame] on his head,
and Adonai will reward you.
23The north wind brings rain
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24It is better to live on a corner of the roof
than to share the house with a nagging wife.
25Like cold water to a person faint from thirst
is good news from a distant land.
26Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
is a righteous person who gives way before the wicked.
27It isn’t good to eat too much honey
or to seek honor after honor.
28Like a city breached, without walls,
is a person who lacks self-control.